Weekly Roundup 9/22

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A “drone selfie” taken at the summit of the Matterhorn. Credit: Ed Hardy//Twitter

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News

A spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces confirmed that an Israeli drone crashed in southern Lebanon, near the border town of Marjayoun. The drone, a Skylark reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft, reportedly malfunctioned as it crossed the Lebanese border. (Haaretz)

Meanwhile, South Korea found wreckage of what appears to be a North Korean drone in the ocean, 3.75 miles west of Baengnyeong Island. The light blue aircraft bears some similarities to the North Korean drones that crashed south of the demilitarized zone earlier this year. (Reuters)

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has cancelled the sale of drones and other military hardware to Ukraine, fearing that the move could antagonize Russia, according to Channel Two, an Israeli news service. The drones, produced by Aeronautics, an Israeli defence contractor, were to be used in eastern Ukraine in the conflict against separatist rebels. (Al-Arabiya)

Meanwhile, the German Defense Ministry announced that a joint German-French team of military advisors had arrived in Ukraine to examine the possibility of selling drones to the Ukrainian government. The European nations are considering providing Ukraine with Luna reconnaissance drones, which are made by EMT Penzberg and are in service in the German military. The drones would monitor troop movements during the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. (The Local)

The Los Angeles Police Department has halted all drone operations until regulations governing the use of the aircraft are established. The suspension comes amid public protests by members of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, which alleges that there is a trend toward police militarization in Los Angeles. The LAPD acquired two multi-rotor drones from the Seattle Police Department after a ban on police drones was enforced in Seattle. (KTLA5)

The National Association of Realtors has begun lobbying the FAA to develop amenable policies for domestic commercial drone use. Until the FAA opens the skies for commercial drone use, the NRT is discouraging its members from using drones for taking aerial shots of properties. (Forbes)

A NYPD helicopter and a drone almost collided over Bushwick, Brooklyn this week. “These drones pose a safety threat to aircrafts and the people on board because the pilots do not know they are in their flight pattern,” a law enforcement source said. The drone’s pilot was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment and obstructing governmental administration. (NY Post)

Commentary, Analysis and Art

At Politico, Richard Whittle takes a look at America’s first Predator mission, a failed attempt to kill Afghan warlord Mullah Omar.

At Motherboard, Jason Koebler speaks with a U.S. Global Hawk drone pilot who describes the stresses of the job.

Meanwhile, at Salon, a former U.S. Air Force imagery analyst writes that operating drones carries the risk of serious psychological side-effects.

In a podcast at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the citizen journalist and arms expert known as Brown Moses discusses the drones over Syria.

At Popular Science’s Eastern Arsenal blog, Jeffrey Lin and Peter W. Singer have photos that appear to show—for the first time—the Pterodactyl drone, which is beginning service in the Chinese Air Force.

A group of human rights advocacy organizations presented a letter to the United Nations Council on Human Rights calling for greater transparency on targeted killings and the use of drones. (Human Rights Watch)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling on California Governor Jerry Brown to sign legislation requiring police to obtain warrants before using drones.

At the Los Angeles Times, Chad Garland surveys the different ways that drones could transform agriculture.

German photographer Bernhard Lang heads into the air to take stunning shots of large-scale industrial operations. (Popular Mechanics)

Know Your Drone

Researchers at the University of Virginia have developed a lightweight 3-D printed drone for the Department of Defense. The Razor, a flying wing design that uses an Android smartphone as a flight computer, can be printed and assembled in as little as 31 hours. (Wired)

The U.S. Navy’s Triton high-altitude surveillance drone successfully completed a 3,300 mile flight across the continental U.S. (Washington Post)

A team at SRM University in India has developed an autonomous quadcopter drone equipped with a facial-recognition system. (New India Express)

The U.S. Air Force has awarded CyPhy Works, a robotics company, with a contract to develop an ultra-portable mini multicopter drone capable of operating in obstructed passageways and tunnels. (Air Force Technology)

Researchers at Drexel University have developed a quadcopter drone that is capable of turning a valve while it is airborne. (TIME)

Google has applied to the Federal Communications Commission for a Special Temporary Authority permit to test wireless internet delivery drones in New Mexico. (Forbes)

Fox News takes a look at the U.S. Army’s Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology program, which is developing insect-sized autonomous drones.

IEEE Spectrum looks at PIBOTs, the little humanoid robots that are being taught how to control a cockpit, and, eventually, fly an airplane.

An innovation award has been given to the two students in Australia who developed a lifeguard drone. The quadcopter uses magnets to carry a flotation device to a swimmer in need. (Spatial Source)

Drones at Work

A drone captured aerial footage of the People’s Climate March in NYC. (Youtube)

Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration deployed small Coyote drones to study Hurricane Edouard. (The Weather Channel)

Police in Switzerland are using drones to take photos of large-scale accidents. (Washington Post)

The Federal Aviation Administration halted the University of Michigan’s plans to use a drone to deliver the football to the first game of the season. (Bloomberg)

A group of climbers used a drone to take a selfie at the summit of the Matterhorn, a mountain in Switzerland. (Ed Hardy – Twitter)

Jeffrey Martin, a drone hobbyist, put together a “magic carpet ride over Prague.” (YouTube)

For updates, news, and commentary, follow us on Twitter!

For Mashable’s take on the week in drone news, check out Drone Beat.

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